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Conflict and Sustainable Development, by Mazin Qumsiyeh | Human Rights

I published a book called "Sharing the Land f Canaan" in 2004. The text was
written a bit earlier (2002 and 2003). Much has happened since I wrote
these things and my own emphasis has gone towards environmental justice and
environmental conservation. I wanted to share this one chapter (chapter 10
on The Conflict and Sustainable Development) with you on the Conflict and
Sustainable Development and seek your thoughts because this is an area we
are currently focusing on. The situation on the ground has gone from bad to
worse but there are occasional lights of hope in the grim picture (e.g. I
mentioned we even started an environmental biology master program and we at
the museum are working with ministry of health and the Environmental
Quality Authority to improve environmental health). In the past 12 years we
have published a number of research papers on environmental issues in
Palestinian areas. While this earlier book discussed both diagnosis and the
only available solution (one democratic secular state), in my later book on
"Popular Resistance in Palestine" [2012] I discussed how we Palestinians
have resisted Israeli colonial onslaught and painted an optimistic outlook
for our future which we are now realizing despite the horrific political
elites "leading" our societies (I should say destroying our societies).

In political news, human rights organizations are finally beginning to
speak out about repression in "Saudi Arabia" and "Israel". Mahmoud Abbas
and his security chief made statements defending their continued security
collaboration with Israeli apartheid forces. Most Palestinians agree with
the decision by the PLO Central Committee to end such security
coordination. Gaza continues to be besieged and most of the eastern portion
of it is a disaster area (suffering even more from rain and cold weather).
The forces of darkness from "Saudi Arabia" are still bombing civilian areas
in Yemen and through Turkey still supporting violence in Syria. But there
are signs of a diplomatic push to end the two conflicts but no fr
Palestine. Mr. Abbas says there should be an international conference on
Palestine but he does not see that this requires an actual stalemate or at
least strengthening (not suppressing) resistance to give Israel a reason to
comply with International law. At present there is only reasons to continue
colonization (very profitable, 55% of Israeli budget depends on continuing
status quo).

In good news, BDS movement is growing and more and more people are being
informed of the reality. We at Bethlehem University (and the museum) are
receiving almost daily delegations of interested people (local and
international) who want to help. We finished the workshop on aquaponics at
the museum. To keep up with our activities, we are posting in our timeline
on facebook under Palestine Museum of Natural History. Please join us.

"Cowardice asks the question – is it safe? Expediency asks the question –
is it politic? Vanity asks the question – is it popular? But conscience
asks the question – is it right? And there comes a time when one must take
a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must
take it because it is right." Martin Luther King, Jr.

"People do not find the courage to fight continually against as powerful an
army as Israel’s without some reservoir, some deeply and already present
fund of bravery and revolutionary self-sacrifice." Edward Said

Stay Human

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Professor and Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability
Bethlehem University
Occupied Palestine

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